Tether

There is so little time
in the dark, my arm
draped round
your shoulders,
and yet so much,
throughout the passing
of one night, our bodies
turn this way
and that, fold one another
into the soft cradle
of sleep,
and in a love

that breaks our hearts
and mends them,
sends ripples
down the tunnel
of time and into paintings
not yet dreamed.
Oh, the brevity
of breath inside
a night room,
your hand in mine,
and also eternal.
One brush of lips

to lips adds forever
to the story. I cannot say
how it will end, though
it has already begun –
the moment
our hands pull back
that first curtain of sunlight,
we will already
be making our way
toward the open
window. Life is a balloon
inside us,

a spaciousness
filled by daily breath,
until at last our bodies
are lighter than this life
and we float
into the sky.
In the dark, my arm
folds round you
like a tether. We are timeless
and we are time, quietly adding
to the story of things,
even as we sleep.

We Write This Poem Together

The mother’s wish:
to write a poem for the daughter
as a thank you

for walks along
white hospital hallways,
days blending into night,

for the car ride here,
where each small bump
felt like an earthquake.

And the earth does tremor
a little, or at least
your understanding of it,

as all of the walls
come tumbling down
and there is nothing left

but gratitude
and
poetry,

written from parent to child
to parent to child to parent
to child until

the end of time,
an old timey flip-book,
and the dancer dances faster

as the pages fly.
The wind flips the pages.
We watch in awe.

The clock flips the pages.
We watch in gratitude,
the mothers

and the daughters,
the sons and the fathers. We write
this poem together.

In Moments Before Sleep

You are getting big
and restless as you dream,
and the three of us,

we do not fit in this bed
the way we used to. Outside,
the wind blows strong

through the cottonwoods,
their time tattered branches
churning the night into black

butter.  I think of my father,
about how little time there is, about
the evening my brother and I

ate lobster and drank champagne
just moments before
we received the final call, and then

paid the fancy waiter with his credit card.
He would have loved this, our father.
A cosmic joke

and his two growing children
overlooking Santa Monica Bay
at sunset, celebrating the lives

he gave us, and the same wild sea
on which he taught us dirty shanties
and turned us into his willing crew.

There is so little time,
but between now and death,

says my friend, There is

so much nuance.  And this
I suppose, is why
I lay awake tonight, between

your two sweaty bodies, the window
thrown wide open to the precious scent
of the coming rain.